Skip to main content
1:00 pm
>> hello and the very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studios in brussels. it's very good to have you with the spirit here is what we have today -- fragile peace. like tensions are on the rise again in ireland. radical extremists -- why immigrants in greece are living in fear. and in danger paradise.
1:01 pm
the peace between catholics and protestants in island was struck nearly 14 years ago, ending decades of bloody conflict. more than 3000 people lost their lives. a lot has changed since then. former ira members make up the regional government together with protestants, but radical government still threaten -- radical militants threatened peace. the victim was a member of a group that does not hide its belief that northern ireland should remain part of the united kingdom >> organizers say it will be a peaceful procession. as a result of the peace process, they have been obliged to reach their rates, so as not to antagonize the city's
1:02 pm
catholic residents. but those changes go too far, said the orangemen. >> we take our faith very strongly. it is an extension of our faith. we find that protestants here are being systematically obliterated, and our culture is being oppressed. >> there were not supposed to be playing music today because there march takes them past st. patrick's church. locals are protesting what they see as provocation by the protestant sectarian songs. the previous few months had seen clashes with the police being intact -- attacked by incensed catholic youths. according to the witness, they were provoked by the protestants.
1:03 pm
>> if you have been observed in here from the fourth of july, you have seen them dancing in front of the church, coming by. those days are gone. >> the protestant group have now set out on their parade. spread the prohition, thatre playing their hymns -- despite the prohibition, they are playing their hands even as they pass the catholic church. >> our people are sick to the back teeth. we have been wronged and shot at and intimidated for 30, 40- odd years. we have been asked to accept terrorists in government so that we can all move on and a live in peace. that is not even good enough for
1:04 pm
them. they also want us to hide away our culture and tradition. >> protestant neighborhoods still feature murals glorifying armed struggle and there are also radicals on the catholic side to reject the peace process. the director of education at queen's university has worked to bring together dissidents from both sides. the radicals have become a major problem, he says. >> one dissident group may have had guns. another might have had bullets and other guns. it seems recently these groups have started to merge together, so they started to realize that the expertise or weaponry they have would be much better served if they were to join, and i think that is a development which is quite dangerous in a way. >> belfast has an infamous series of wars -- walls officially called peace lines, separating the communities to
1:05 pm
minimize violence. there are gates permitting passage to neighboring areas, but at night, they are shut. the 21-old protestant is on her way to see her best friend, a catholic. >> i come in the car, but i would have no problem walking around, may be not so much if i was on my own, but just because i do not know the area. it is completely different from where i live, but if i had to, yes, we would walk around it. >> rose is a local celebrity. she plays football for the northern ireland national team. in a squad traditionally dominated by protestants. unlike many people from her neighborhood. >> she has been here before. i have seen her reaction.
1:06 pm
i wish there would always be people like that. most people do want to move forward, and they are happy. i think that is brilliant. it is better moving othan sting in the past. them of rose has a mother raise all of her children to be tolerant and open-minded. she lost a brother to the conflict. he was a member of the ira and was shot dead by british soldiers. >> it was quite different coming up. it was quite scary. you really do not want to see that, you know? i always tell my children death is sadness and somebody owns that person. >> they did not grow up with
1:07 pm
violence and grief. for the generation, peace has become the norm, but interdenominational friendships like theirs are few and far between. how do they see people coming together? >> definitely through sport. i think it is encouraging kids to do stuff like that. >> it is bringing people together, definitely. they are friends with each other and a team, nothing of god ever comes up. you like sports, and that is it. >> the hope is that the different communities of belfast will become closer over time as the two young women have, but there is a long road ahead. >> tensions have been owing in greece over recent weeks. the country's dire economic situation has plenty of
1:08 pm
potential for social unrest, and there's a widespread feeling that the poorest in society are bearing the brunt of stringent austerity measures. many greeks say they will vote for more radical party's next time, and an increasing number of extremist hooligans are taking out their anger on the weakest members of society. >> these days, immigrants who go out at night in athens risk getting beat up. a gan of 15 to 20 men dressed in black are patrolling the streets on motorbikes, their faces hidden by their helmets. >> this is where it happened. 10 men approached us and asked me where i come from. i told them i was egyptian. suddenly more men appeared on motorbikes. all i remember is that someone hit me on the neck with a metal bar. i woke up three days later in the hospital. >> the busy square is just 50
1:09 pm
meters away. the scene of another violent attack on immigrants. >> we were sitting outside a cafe with a group of 20 or 30 men suddenly appeared. they have hidden their faces behind masks and helmets and started attacking immigrants. the police came fast, but by the time they arrived, the men had already brutally beaten up all the immigrants they could find. >> the greek capital's main shopping drag here this mobile phone footage was shot in 2010 by one of the masked men who hunt down immigrants and attack them. he posted it on youtube. in the last three months, ngo's counted about 500 racially motivated attacks in athens, such as this assault on a pakistani man in an underground station in june. observers believe the perpetrators have ties to the
1:10 pm
neo-nazi group golden dawn, which won seats in parliament for the first timen may. >> there is evidence that the perpetrators have links, but so far, no one has been charged. victims have said they would recognize their attackers because they had a high profile in their neighborhoods working together with other extremist groups. >> in late august, the golden dawn held a rally at the scene of an historic battle in which the greeks were defeated by the persians. some of the members of the paramilitary right-wing extremist group openly gave hitler salutes at a commemoration of their heroes while their leader delivered a blatantly xenophobic message. >> we want to keep our country clean. we want reese to belong to
1:11 pm
greeks. we do not want these hassans, mohammeds, and alis to remain residents of our countries. >> the party leader is seen here on the eve of parliamentary elections. he was unwilling to give us an interview. he is gaining in influence and now has 18 parliamentary seats. polls show that his popularity has soared from 7% in may to a current high of more than 10%. so far, police have failed to make headway in establishing a connection between golden dawn and the attacks on immigrants. >> the investigation is still at a preliminary stage, but the police are conscientious. that uphold the law and in the case of an attack regardless of weather it is racially motivated or not, they will question witnesses and secure evidence. they are doing what they can to arrest the perpetrators and solve the case. >> but the police are believed
1:12 pm
to be sympathetic to the right wing extremists. special units are clamping down on undocumented immigrants. their ambitious operation is ironically named after the god of hospitality who is ready to avenge any wrong done to a stranger. so far, more than 2000 refugees have been detained and face deportation. greece is home to well over 600,000 undocumented immigrants, most of whom are unlikely to be granted legal status and find regular work. the greek capital's immigrant neighborhoods are riddled with crime, and the greek population is growing increasingly high style -- hostile. to many, the message of the neo- nazi golden dawn party strikes a chord. >> 10 years ago, we did not give a lot our front door. our children played on the stres. these days, we put security locks on our doors, an my wife does not go out without me.
1:13 pm
>> i am not a supporter of golden dawn. what they are doing is using violence to tackle the problem. i do not think that is right, but at the same time, i also want to see this problem solved. then of the immigrants no longer feel safe in athens. this young man from afghanistan was brutally assaulted by a group of alleged right wing extremists while he was collecting trash six weeks ago. >> in afghanistan, i had to fear the taliban. i thought europe was safer, but now, i do not see any difference between kabul and athens. >> he no longer dares leave his apartment. as greece continues to struggle with its economic woes, resentment of the country's immigrants is gaining momentum. >> belarus is in desperate need of reforms. the country's economy largely depends on aid from russia, but criticism can be dangerous. president alexander lukashenko
1:14 pm
simply does not tolerate dissent, so many of his opponent's field force to escape abroad. great britain granted political asylum to a former deputy foreign minister of belarus this summer. the man was sentenced to prison in belarus and had to flee because he had taken part in protests against lukashenko, but some eu countries are no longer keen to take on the belarussian regime. >> the worst thing is the boredom and the uncertainty. the asylum seekers center where he has been living the past year is 7 kilometers away from the border. the town's solitary cafe provides some welcome relief. he is here because he deserted from the belarussian army when
1:15 pm
he could no longer face the beatings from his superiors. >>ehould say we are prepared to take up arms if there is no other way to contain the mass protests. in the name of the republic of belarus. >> he has gotten help from opposition activists, help that is desperately needed. >> he would face a terrible fate if he were deported, possibly be killed it would be made to look like a car accident, or they might fake his suicide, as happened in the case of one outspoken journalist. the regime is capable of anything. >> after a lengthy processing time, lithuanian authorities rejected the army deserter's
1:16 pm
application for asylum. the ruling several months ago said simply that there were no grounds for granting him political asylum. no further details were provided. the immigration official responsible d appear on telesiono make a statement. >> to be granted asylum, the applicant has to have a justifiable fear of being persecuted in their home country. >> lithuanians is evidently keen to avoid upsetting its eastern neighbor. the border has recently seen an increase in refugees. many face persecution back home due to their opposition to the president and his authoritarian regime. lithuania and especially the capital has traditionally been considered a safe haven for exiles from belarus. but that reputation has now changed. >> after a pro-western phase,
1:17 pm
what we are seeing now is an openly pro-russian policy. even if we do here critical voices now and again, our foreign policy is aimed at catering to the russians and the lukashenko regime. >> the economicrisis frothe lithuanians firms to seek new markets, and they found them in belarus. m a lithuanian business enjoys carte blanche in belarus. managers have no trouble getting necessary permits and with very favorable conditions, but that can come to an end quickly if for example their assets are seas. >> asylum seekers are considered a nuisance when it comes to business relations, especially a deserter from a special forces unit. he has successfully challenged the order to deport him, however. his application for asylum had
1:18 pm
not been properly considered, the court ruled. lithuanian authorities now have six months to compile a new assessment. >> his situation is not hopeless. first, we know he is here. we have been able to support him in recent weeks and hoped to publicize his case. the lithuanian media have been covering this story. >> that means the autriti see him differently. i really hope he gets a positive decision. >> his father visited him a few days ago. his mother hopes to be granted a visa as soon as well. the former soldier is desperate to avoid deportation back to belarus. he has no time for those who claim those -- things are not so bad back home. >> there is a pro-russian or pro-belarussian attitude.
1:19 pm
people say the cigarettes are cheap and this law and order on the streets. those people have never lived in belarus and have no idea what's going on there. >> for the time being, he must remain patient and hope that doors will soon be open to him. >> if you want to see brown bears, rules -- will, or lease roaming about in life, you can take a chip, or better yet come stay at home in the carpe diem mountains . 1/3 of predators' live here, but the huge mountain chain is still a long way off to becoming a popular tourist invest -- popular tourist destination. however, businesses have been quicker off the mark. >> destruction in the car
1:20 pm
akkadians. the forest here is disappearing tree by tree. -- destruction in the cap- haitien's. the logging is illegal, the local forest department has given the go-ahead to a local businessman. -- destruction in the carpe diems -- destruction in the s. residents are stumped. >> there's no guarantee that trees will be replanted here, that there will ever be a forest here again. they are clearing everything. nothing will remain. but i want my daughter to be able to go for a walk in the woods when she grows up. the local authorities seem unconcerned that they do not have official permission to cut down the trees. instead, the head of the forestry department tries to drive away the residents.
1:21 pm
"leave the forest or i will call the police," he says. the carpe diem mountains are home to europe's biggest untapped forests. but the precious areas are increasingly falling prey to illegal logging. what has become one of romania's biggest exports. environmental groups estimate that some three hectares of forest disappear each hour. authorities are trying to crack down in some places. in northeastern romania near the ukrainian border, a special police unit halts trucks, and checking for illegal transports. drivers often radio other drivers with the location of inspection points.
1:22 pm
when asked what he is carrying, the driver answers, "wood products." once the trees are top -- chopped, and is difficult to determine the origin of the wood. police are often helpless. most trucks are suspected of carrying stolen would on board. >> the wood is stored at the port. from there, it is taken home by export companies to sell it abroad. >> but the police do not bother checking farmers or their horse- drawn carts. they are aware that they are dealing with a kind of wood market in the carpe diem mountains who are very well organized. the region is dotted with lumber mills on the outskirts of the bigger towns. the factories often belong to influential officials or even politicians making big money from the illegal logging.
1:23 pm
but the special police unit enjoys the support of forestry officials. today, they are partially successful in their mission. they come across much more wood than the records show. the officials impose a fine of around 2000 euros, but it is peanuts comred to therofi the company is making. despite the euro crisis, romania exports are worth -- re-exports would worth 1 billion euros each year. to meet the growing demand countries are being felled in previously inaccessible areas in the carpe diem mountains. -- to meet the growing demand, trees are being felled in
1:24 pm
previously inaccessible areas in the carpe diem mountains -- car paphian -- carpathian mountains. >> without this forest, we would have floods and landslides. we have already seen serious erosion in some parts. this year, drought was the only thing that saved us from the floods. >> environmental activists say reforestation is rarely carried out in the region. that has caused erosion and flooding, leading to a vicious cycle of destruction, costing billions. >> many people are so poor they simply do not have any other possibility than to steel would
1:25 pm
from the forests. -- wood from the forests. but those who really benefit from the business live a life of luxury. >> back in transylvania, the mayor of this village is determined to fight to save the forest, but local forestry officials are not willing to give up a lucrative contract with a lumber company. >> as mayor, all i want is for the loss to be of help. nobody can stop me from doing that. >> almost half of the logging is carried out in protected areas. what is needed is an independent forestry authority and an alternative source of income for residents. without that, large parts of the carpathian mountains and europe's last remaining intact forests could disappear for ever. >> that report wraps up this edition of "european journal."
1:26 pm
from all of us here in brussels, thanks for watching. good bye for now.
1:27 pm
1:28 pm
1:29 pm

European Journal
PBS November 11, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm PST

News/Business. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Belarus 9, Greece 4, Athens 4, Europe 3, Ireland 2, Belfast 2, Afghanistan 2, Euros 2, Brussels 2, Romania 2, The Northern Ireland National Team 1, Taliban 1, Ngo 1, Gan 1, Orangemen 1, Patrick 1, Persians 1, Reese 1, Alexander Lukashenko 1, Haitien 1
Network PBS
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast
Tuner Channel 71 (507 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 11/11/2012